"I'm of two minds - whether to skilfully weave my personal history into the warp and woof of a subtle plot structure that evolves through the play and counterplay of mimetic imagery to reveal my narrative point of view as an integral part of this literary work, or whether to just dump my life story into your lap out of sheer lack of writing ability."- P.J. O'Rourke, Unpaid Bills
Friday, 31 July 2009
"It is every aspect of my life. It is destroying every relationship in my life. I am having an affair with it. I am obsessed with it 24 hours a day... I am constantly in a terror about failing, like all artists."- Matt Weiner, creator [as in, writer] of the incomparably brilliant Mad Men.
Thursday, 30 July 2009
"The torpor of his mind renders him not only incapable of relishing or bearing a part in any rational conversation, but of conceiving any generous, noble, or tender sentiment, and consequently of forming any just judgement concerning many even of the ordinary duties of private life."- Adam Smith [with an 'i'], on people with jobs.
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Needless to say, my phone did not recognise it; but what it did have - DEF, PQRS, TUV, MNO... (feel free to check) - was '3SUM'.
As though I'd ever spell it like that!
"We spent almost all our time together, partly working but mostly sitting around, lying around, driving around, and talking constantly, all day and all night, as only very young people can, about everything that can be imagined, which is to say about nothing that can be recalled."- P.J. O'Rourke, Age and Guile
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Monday, 27 July 2009
Tito’s children were also in a band, called 3T. They are called Taj, Taryll and TJ. TJ stands for Tito Joe. The Jacksons like to name their children after themselves. Jermaine has a child called Jermajesty. Michael called his children Michael, Paris-Michael and Prince Michael.- Sam Leith, Prospect
"If I’d been burned alive because of bad grades, my parents would have killed me"- David Sedaris
When school was finished, I went back home, an Ivy League graduate with four years’ worth of dirty laundry and his whole life ahead of him. “What are you going to do now?” my parents asked.All taken, of course, from this mini-masterpiece.
And I said, “Well, I was thinking of washing some of these underpants.”
That took six months. Then I moved on to the shirts.
“Now what?” my parents asked.
And, when I told them I didn’t know, they lost what little patience they had left. “What kind of a community-college answer is that?” my mother said. “You went to the best school there is—how can you not know something?”
And I said, “I don’t know.”
Sunday, 26 July 2009
He looked in my mouth and said, 'Your jaw is inflamed and it's your wisdom teeth: maybe it's time to have them out.'
I paid him £45 and left.
Saturday, 25 July 2009
1. grilled piece of shitThere's no such thing as useless knowledge; but what really got me was the follow-up link:
cock who [sic.] has just been in a gay ass
Hey John please take your grilled piece of shit out of my ass
get this def on a mug
Friday, 24 July 2009
I am reminded of the sad tale of Louis XVII (yes, there was: don't start with me), who died, aged 10, of scrofula - a disease the divinely-appointed Kings of France were supposed to be able to cure by the laying on of hands.
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Look, I'm hardly pretty, he seems to say. I sound like gravel; I look rough and tough; and, honest, I don't give you the soft, foolish answers the pretty boys will give you. You may not like what I say, but you better believe it.
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
And then, this:
Sorry, Charlize. It's over.
COULDN'T MAKE IT UPDATE: "Demi Moore's actor husband Ashton had the best seats in the venue as he sat at the end of Chelsea's bench with his Kabbalah teacher Yehuda Berg."
VF: What is the quality you most like in a woman?- Walter Cronkite, interviewed by Vanity Fair
WC: I’m strongly urged by advisers not to say “moral laxity,” so let’s say “sense of humor.”
- peaceable philosopher type, Alain de Botton
SHE: 'You don't like intelligent women, that's why you're disagreeing with me.'
ME: 'I do like intelligent women, but sadly you're not one of them.'
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
"[I]n a single morning I would go through the emotions ascribable to Wellington at Waterloo. I lived in a world of inscrutable hostiles and inalienable friends and supporters."- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack-Up.
Monday, 20 July 2009
BOOKSTORES are getting shipments of a significantly changed edition of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpiece, “A Moveable Feast,” first published posthumously by Scribner in 1964. This new edition, also published by Scribner, has been extensively reworked by a grandson who doesn’t like what the original said about his grandmother, Hemingway’s second wife.
The grandson has removed several sections of the book’s final chapter and replaced them with other writing of Hemingway’s that the grandson feels paints his grandma in a more sympathetic light. Ten other chapters that roused the grandson’s displeasure have been relegated to an appendix, thereby, according to the grandson, creating “a truer representation of the book my grandfather intended to publish.”
(Thanks to Maggie)
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Even the bad things are better than they used to be. Bad music, for instance, has gotten much briefer. Wagner's Ring Cycle takes four days to perform while 'Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm' by the Crash Test Dummies lasts little more than three minutes.- PJ O'Rourke tackles the Generation Xperts, in All the Trouble in the World
Saturday, 18 July 2009
Friday, 17 July 2009
Him: Thanks for sending me this 'Books' thing.
Me: Er, sure.
Him: I've clicked on the link.
Him: How do I look at the rest of the blog?
Me: Oh, right. You click on Amnesiac Review at the top there.
He clicks. Large picture of small man on panto horse being touched inappropriately by medium-sized, bearded man.
Me: [Hurriedly] Um, but you don't need to click through to that because I specifically sent you the relevant post.
Him: So what d'you want me to do with it?
Him: What am I supposed to do with the link?
Me: Nothing. Well, laugh. It's funny, right? Things Fall Apart on a books conservation site?
Him: So why's there a link to the British Library?
Me: Nggghhh... [Long slow breath] Just in case anyone was in any doubt that there actually is a book by that name - it wouldn't be funny if I'd made it up... You HAVE heard of it?
Him: Yes, it's by Chinua Achebe.
Him: But -
Me: Never mind... [leaving]
Him: So you don't want me to adopt a book?
Thursday, 16 July 2009
"Conceived as a distraction, it immediately took on the distracted character of that from which it was intended to be a distraction, namely myself."- from Page 1 (God help me!) of Out of Sheer Rage.
This approach – passionate about the work, doubtful of economic reward – has always been the best attitude for an artist to have throughout history. It costs money to be a student and they expect it to cost money to be an artist: making films, printing photographs, buying canvases. But it's something they have to do. They are what you might call hardheaded dreamers. Art, says Underhill, "is a strange relationship that you have with yourself".From here.
(Thanks to RN MA)
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
"Oh, man, I haven't had sex in six months."
"His death has shocked anyone who had any contact with him or knew his work. The drugs were all there in the artwork (and the rumours), but so was a sense of real beauty and honesty. It wasn't necessarily the aesthetic of his work, but its independence that made it so influential. He simply didn't give a shit."Francesca Gavin on Dash Snow.
(Thanks to RN MA.)
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
2. Man on phone: "What are your hours today?" Me: "10am to 5pm" Man on phone: "Ok...and you're open?"
3. Crazy man to me: "Do you like working here? Do you like ALL the books? I bet you don't like novels. Doris Day!"
Patron Names of the Weekend: Twinkle Yumasi & Yu Hu
(Courtesy of Mrs. Dee Dee "Suck on my pencil" Cusack.)
"fat asthmatic kid with claustrophobia and allergic to bee stings, in a small room, with 1 bee released into the room every 2 minutes, and a tennis racquet with only 4 strings to ward them off – kid must remain in the room for 24 hours to win ?10k."[Thanks to PC, all round fop and master torturer]
Monday, 13 July 2009
"India is always interesting. Out on the street just now I heard lots of drums being beaten, and when I looked a tightrope had been set up and a kid was walking across it with a water jar on her head."
2. Confused little girl to mother: "Happy Thanksgiving!"
3. "I'm looking for a boy, his name is Benjamin, I call him Ben WHERE IS HE?!"
4. Crazy Obese Lady wearing a crop top and plastic bags on her hands: "Has my copy of House Beautiful arrived yet?"
Patron Names of the Week: Marisa Flomp & Randy Paradise
(Courtesy of Mrs. Dee Dee Cusack.)
Sunday, 12 July 2009
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How soft it felt?
That fresh smell?
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With our unique vibrating brush system... why pay for a professional service when you can do it yourself for so much less and at a time that suits you?
Friday, 10 July 2009
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Apparently he also knows someone called Jennifer Herron, though, so I don't think he's trying to set a trend, or anything.
* not necessarily in the Biblical sense, you understand.
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
"'This train is the service to Canterbury West'? Is that right?"Excerpted from a long and painful conversation between two old bags (+ luggage) - the sort who have to touch each other's knees when they say something of monumental import, who never sit near you when you've actually got your iPod, and who you know, instinctively and immediately, will be with you for the full duration of your journey.
"Yes. It's going all the way down there."
Other highlights include: an uncle's forthcoming medical procedure (rights and wrongs thereof); feebly risqué references to husband and the "or pear" [au pair, for those readers who don't speak Sarfeast]; "Are you happy to sit facing the way we're going?" (x4); and "There's Battersea."
At one point, one of them spends a full five minutes trying to write and despatch an SMS.
"Ooh! Message from Sue [both chuckle, apropos of nothing]. I said to her 'if you're not on time, don't worry, we'll wait.'"
Monday, 6 July 2009
Old crone: Which bit of history are you most interested in?While trying to come up with a witticism involving historians repeating one another (and wits, likewise), I confess I felt a nagging sympathy for my fellow customer's quandary.
Young crone: Any bit, as long as it doesn't feel like a waste of time.
Sunday, 5 July 2009
Advice for Insomnia- Taken from The Skinny: On Losing Weight Without Being Hungry by Louis J. Arrone, M.D. The last piece of advice actually goes on to say, "Many people wake less often if they sleep alone, away from the distractions of a spouse or pet."
- Avoid caffeine.
- Don't drink before bed.
- Don't eat too much before bed.
- Take a bath before bed.
- Sleep alone.
So now I'm wondering: if you couldn't make it up, what's the point in writing fiction?
"There may be more of them [professional journalists], not fewer, as the ability to participate in journalism extends beyond the credentialed halls of traditional media. But they may be paid far less, and for many it won’t be a full time job at all. Journalism as a profession will share the stage with journalism as an avocation. Meanwhile, others may use their skills to teach and organize amateurs to do a better job covering their own communities, becoming more editor/coach than writer. If so, leveraging the Free—paying people to get other people to write for non-monetary rewards—may not be the enemy of professional journalists. Instead, it may be their salvation."- From Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine. (See Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker review here.)
For what it's worth, I'm assuming the techno-utopian Anderson was paid for his book, sells copies of it, and charges for a copy of his magazine.
Saturday, 4 July 2009
15b (and corringendum)
Do NOT, under any circumstances, sniff. If you're ill, stay at home; if you're just ill-bred, stay out of the theatre.
“I didn’t realise before That Face that writing about the middle classes so scathingly was quite a rare thing. But there’s no mystery as to why I write from that perspective. I’m middle-class.”- under-age playwright, Polly Stenham
Friday, 3 July 2009
2. "Excuse me, could you help me find a book? I don't know the title. It's by a female author from the South who may or may not be dead. She writes stories. Have you read it?"
3. "I'm pretty sure Flannery O'Connor is a dude."
4. "And that's why the Goddess gave us boobs."
(Courtesy of Mrs. Dee Dee Cusack, sexy cardigan-wearing pencil-chewing seductress extraordinaire.)
Thursday, 2 July 2009
WANT TO WORK FOR THE SPORTS ILLUSTRATED OF THE CARIBBEAN?Unfortunately, this position was advertised in 1959 - and was filled by one Hunter S Thompson.
Now is your chance. Ambitious publisher is looking for journalists who know and love sports and who wouldn't mind living in the tropical paradise of Puerto Rico.
Also, I wouldn't say I know about sport(s), exactly...
'Super Smyth in four-goal blitz' (setting the standard)Tragically, not one of these has anything to do with me.
'Smyth and Beer both bag four' (standard night out)
'Hawks at bottom' (standard night in)
'Oxon's freak goal in vain' (standard shrink's assessment)
'Bank bans customer for boob joke' (Evening Standard)
NB Unlike Nixon or Vaughan, Smyth does not traditionally refer to himself in the third person.
My company has got me in this horrendous situation where I am obliged to work for 40 hours a week in return for a monthly salary. It's like living under Mao...- RMB, on life in the (year of the) pig pen
Ross Michael Brown is head of the Amnesiac special ops division, hereafter known as The Carpenters.
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
What it is however, is a shitty jewellery programme [ambiguous adjectives + p&p incl.], featuring an Oscar-winning performance from the actress (or whatever you'd call her) tasked with flogging this sub-Ratner trash.
Seriously, for the ability to riff endlessly and with little-to-no understanding of the topic at hand, these shopping-channel lasses knock spots off Gordon Brown. Do they know there'll be seats up for grabs in the next Parliament?